Meet Connie Frigo, Founder, Road of Creativity
I credit the saxophone for taking me around the world to perform, teach and learn. But neither music as an abstract art form nor my love of the saxophone has kept me in the game all these years. It’s been the creative process that took a firm hold from the beginning and demonstrated that personal growth and the pursuit of excellence impacts growth in all areas of work and life. The creative process demands curiosity, questions, personal expression, risks, listening and collaborating. Music just happens to be the vehicle through which I experience the creative process.
Highlights of my classical music career include serving six years with the premiere U.S. Navy Band, Washington, D.C., performing for the President of the United States; eight years touring nationally with the New Century Saxophone Quartet; guest artist recitals and masterclasses at universities across the country; and saxophone teaching positions at the Universities of Tennessee and Maryland before accepting a position at the University of Georgia in 2011. The highlight of my education is the year I lived in Amsterdam, Holland as a Fulbright Scholar to study music performance. My music performance degrees are from Ithaca College, the University of Illinois and the University of South Carolina. I am on the artist rosters of Henri Selmer Paris (saxophone manufacturer) and D’Addario (reeds and accessories).
I have a record of designing and implementing innovative new programs and projects at all institutions and organizations where I have worked. I founded and directed a concert series that created opportunities for the faculty to work together in new ways; designed and directed a pre-college summer music camp in Washington, D.C.; founded and directed the Saxophone Project in Tennessee, which brought together annually hundreds of students, teachers, professors and guest artists for three days of workshops and performances; at the University of Georgia, I have initiated and designed with two colleagues a first-of-its-kind course in professional and career development called “Music in the Real World.” The course reached maximum capacity immediately.
Building and leading a saxophone studio at a university has parallels to building and leading a sports team. Both require the teacher or coach to recruit, teach the craft at the highest level, instill discipline, all while building and fostering a healthy learning environment so that individuals and the team excel. I have led three saxophone studios over the past ten years. Each has been built quickly from the ground up to earn prominence within the university, across each state and across the country. While at the University of Tennessee, I was awarded the School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award by the student body.
The core of my imagination lies in interdisciplinary work. I strive to create experiences that allow boundaries within and between people and fields to disappear. I believe that process itself can be artistic; and that when executed as such, the quality of and meaning behind the final product increases. It is from this place that I began bringing music performance and workshops into organizations so they could experience the creative process to help reach new goals and levels of success. It’s brought tremendous reward to reveal that creativity is up for grabs for anyone who dares reach for it…